Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak

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Subject: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak
  I haven´t been around lately, so I hope off topic conversations aren´t completely forbidden now. If so, I apologize in advance. I´m posting this mainly because there are several of us interested in the political scene right now in the US, and how it will affect the rest of the world once a new leader is put into place.

I just got back from seeing Barack Obama speak at our local university, and he was amazing. If anyone gets the opportunity to see him--no matter your political leanings--I highly recommend it. All politicians can learn from him, from his respect of his peers (despite their differences) and of those who have served their country; from his honest speaking style; from his ability to speak directly from his own heart and straight to the hearts of his audience. All standing ovations were rightfully earned, and I doubt anyone left feeling anything but hopeful and encouraged.

Has anyone else had the opportunity to see him, and what were your impressions? Besides what I can glean from the Globe and Mail, what are Canadians feeling toward him so far?


[27-02-2008,15:48]
[**.24.116.196]
wannabecanadian
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
He can not become President for sure but he is already giving tough time to Clinton. I think replublicans will make the government again.
[27-02-2008,15:51]
[***.50.205.242]
Mike
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
Mike: I wonder what makes you say that he "cannot win for sure". Are you in the US or in Canada (or elsewhere)? In my city, and in the cities I´ve been visiting lately, I´ve heard no talk about the leading Republican at all, but I have heard quite a buzz about Obama and the opportunity to finally get beyond the past 7 years and onto something positive for the world. I just wonder what your perspective is for giving such a blanket statement.
[27-02-2008,16:03]
[**.24.116.196]
wannabecanadian
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
Voted for Obama in Illinois pres. primary and he´s the senator of my state. I only wish he had stayed with his single payer health plan proposal (like Canada´s), but the system here just isn´t ready for it politically.

All the factors point to him becoming the next president.


[27-02-2008,16:57]
[**.53.224.249]
Richard
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
Richard if I had a vote I would vote for Hillary because she has been through many of a fight.

Obama seems like he believes everyone will sit down and talk to him and see his way.

Like no country disagrees with USA. I feel he is living in a dream world.

Roy
www.cvimmigration.com


[27-02-2008,18:55]
[**.158.53.207]
Roy
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
Richard:
I agree that he is well poised to be the next president. Without a doubt he is the embodiment of the American Dream, which certainly must resonate with a majority of Americans (whether or not it will translate into votes we can´t yet say, but it´s looking good for sure). It is quite something to explain to my 5 year old what a monumental time this is: to be able to choose between a woman and a black man for President. I hope in his lifetime, this will not be unusual. I actually never thought I´d see the day (at least not in this country).

Somehow I forgot that you are in his state, and I can only imagine the excitement in your area. I have to say that it feels great and yet somewhat foreign to feel hopeful again, and that the disappointment and anger over the last "election" has finally been replaced with something more positive.

I´m curious how the election results might influence the decisions of Canadian PRs from the US. Will it suddenly become more palatable to remain in the US, or are personal factors beyond the reaches of current government? Personally, I´d take Obama over Harper any day, but I´d live with the one in order to live in Canada. Still, wouldn´t it be something to have a more liberal US president than Canadian Prime Minister! Regrettably I don´t know my Canadian history well enough to know when (or if) that has happened before.

[27-02-2008,19:01]
[**.24.116.196]
wannabecanadian
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
Wannabe,
You hit the nail on the head. There´s extreme excitement here here in Chicago. He´d change the entire dynamic of how the world views America. Imagine, instead of these old, white, conservative men all these years dictating terms to the rest of the world, we have the possibility of a multi-cultural president who´s lived overseas and undertands the world. Whet a sorely needed change.

Some PRs from the States may have been motiovated to immigrate by the politics in the States all these yeras. It´ll be interesting to see if they have any change of heart should Obama get elected.

Ohio, your state, I can´t fugure out. All those manufacturing jobs lost, no health care, high unemployment in many big cities, yet lean to Hillary now, and always a red state in elections.

To Roys point. Down here we understand your point of view, and it´s perfectly valid. However, we´ve become really tired of 2 family dynasties alternatively swapping in and out of the White House. Out of 300 million plus population, we can´t find anyone else qualified except from the Bush or Clinton families?

Hillary voted with Bush to go into Iraq. Now that Iraq has become unpopular, she regrets it, but refuses to appologize (unlike Edwards). Voters see through changing one´s principles and politics to fit whatever is good for one´s career.

The other point about talking. It surprises me that of all things you don´t like it´s this one. Canada does a heck of a lot more peaceful talking. As a result, Canada´s international standing I think is much higher. Many if not most here are fed up with that, that´s why Obama is doing so well.

I think you have to live here to understand that. Being up there, it´s easier to ask us here to be tough with the world, while up there enjoying the benefits of a social programs possible because you don´t have to fund wars and a huge military.

[27-02-2008,19:44]
[**.53.224.249]
Richard
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
I think the sign of a good leader is their ability to surround themselves with smart and experience people. I think the US needs a leader that will help them feel good about themselves and their country again. In that regard, Obama has done an amazing job.

The only thing that has me a little nervous is the protectionist words coming out of both Democrats about the renegotiating the NAFTA agreement.

Other than that, I think it is exciting times for the US. Based on voter turn out (2/1 for the democrats) I can´t imagine the Republicans taking the next election.


[27-02-2008,20:23]
[***.20.79.93]
sharon
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
Richard: I agree with you completely. You make an excellent point about this country being run for so long by only two families; it should be unthinkable. Your perspective on Canada´s expectations of the US is insightful, and I wonder if it is one that many Canadians share.

I don´t understand Ohio either. It is not my native state and my city isn´t nearly as broken apart by the ills of the rust belt or Appalachia so my perspective is perhaps quite different than if I lived in another part of this surprisingly diverse state. I can never figure out how it traditionally votes conservative when it is the conservatives who have caused so many of the problems. My county is quite liberal, and there is no convincing me that Ohio didn´t vote blue last election. Judging by what I see and hear, Clinton doesn´t have much of a chance around here. But, Ohio wide she is still the front runner, though I think her lead is shrinking. Either way, I can´t see Ohio voting McCain in in November (hope hope hope).

Sharon: you are absolutely correct that the American people need to feel good about their country again. The state of things down here is just dismal, but perfect for a good old fashioned (peaceful) revolution. Kerry came close last election; the world should be hoping that Obama makes history this time around.


[27-02-2008,21:24]
[**.24.116.196]
wannabecanadian
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
this is my own personal take... from a perspective of social and political breakthrough, the notion of a black president does seem like such a phenomena to me. He is still a man - just happens to be a different shade than white. Obviously, I cannot phathom that the black community could be so oppressed that a black president is revolutionary - I like him because he is smart, visionary and inspiring. Skin colour is not even on my radar.

The prospect of a woman president is far more impressive. Unfortunately, I don´t care for Hillary´s political style or views - so she could be a woman, man or martian and I still would not choose her.

We need to find a different woman!

[27-02-2008,22:45]
[**.155.160.37]
Sharon
(in reply to: Off Topic: Just saw Obama speak)
A lot of socioligists think that the racial divide here has been a lot more problematic historically than gender inequality. Not to dismiss the gender issue, they´ll argue that in this country, much more residual prejudice still exists from the slavery legacy, and is therefore more difficult to hurdle politically. In that sense a major accomplishment.

Thanks for the clarification about Ohio, wannabe. Southern Illinois is also known here a redneck country, and Chicagoans often think of it as more part of the "South". So this state also has its red and blue parts.

[27-02-2008,23:13]
[**.53.224.249]
Richard